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# What Would You Play As Black Against c4

• #1

• #2

I play e5 or Nf6 and occasionally f5.

• #3

1...Nf6 hoping he plays 2.c4 haha...if not i play c5 next move an go for g6 and Bg7 trying to put some pressure on d4...well...that is IF white plays along

• #4

Statistically, the best reply is ... 1...b6.

• #5
Yigor wrote:

Statistically, the best reply is ... 1...b6.

Are you deriving this from chessok.com's database, only taking into account games that have been played 100 times or more?

If so, I can't help but notice that the difference between this database and chesstempo's database is huge. In chesstempo's database of 2700+ vs 2700+ players, 1...b6 is actually the worst, by far, of the responses to 1.c4:

Something I've been thinking about: chessok.com's database is from 2009. chesstempo's is from 2017. Perhaps players have learned something in the intervening years to make it so that high level players now know how to exploit a weakness in 1...b6.

The most common response to 1.c4 was and is 1...Nf6. It also does fairly well in both databases.

• #6

1...Nf6 and 1...g6 are the ones I play regularly (KID-oriented), sometimes 1...f5 hoping for a Leningrad Dutch style position.

• #7

Phoenyx75: No, I used the chesstempo database for my statement: sev(1. c4 b6) = +0.05, it's statistically excellent. Please look attentively. U can see the statistical results here too:

• #8

What's the rest of your repertoire? If you play the Slav and Caro, then 1...c6 makes sense. If you play the Nimzo, 1...e6 or 1...Nf6 are logical. If you play the Accelerated Dragon, 1...c5 is good. And the list goes on.

You can choose a line that's independent from the rest of your repertoire (e.g., 1...e5 or certain Symmetrical lines) but even then the rest of your repertoire may influence your choices (e.g., if you play 1. d4 to avoid the Sicilian, and you play the Sicilian as Black, you might not like 1...e5).

• #9
I play 1...Nf6 and go into a KID structure
• #10

I play 1...c6 and head for a Slav-type position since I'm comfortable with Slav/Caro-Kann positions.

If 2 d4 d5 it transposes right into the Slav.

If 2 e4 it transposes into the Caro-Kann Accelerated Panov Attack where the most common variation, 2...d5 3 exd5 cxd5 gives Black good chances with a fairly-open game.

If 2 Nf3, the only other typical 2nd move, 2...d5 gives you the English Opening Caro-Kann Defensive System where 2...d5 is almost always answered by 3 d4, which transposes into the Slav Defense, Modern Line.

Deviations from these lines by White are generally good for Black and if you're a Slav and Caro-Kann player, you're used to playing ...Bf5 or ...Bg4 then ...e6 and ...Nbd7 and looking for counterattacks from those positions, often built on ...c5 or ...b5 or ...b6 or ...f6 to put pressure on White's pawn base or center.

• #11
Yigor wrote:

Phoenyx75: No, I used the chesstempo database for my statement: sev(1. c4 b6) = +0.05, it's statistically excellent. Please look attentively. U can see the statistical results here too:

Yes, you did say you were using chesstempo's database before, but when I looked at the 2700+ vs 2700+ results, they were so different from yours that I thought perhaps you had switched to chessok's database. It turns out, it's simply a matter of the results for 2200+ vs 2200+ being vastly different from the results of 2700+ vs 2700+. For while, as you say, you get a sev of .05 in games from 2200+ vs 2200+ players, you get a sev of 2.99 when looking at the 2700+ vs 2700+ players list. 2700+ players only played 1...b6 against 1.c4 7 times out of 930 games against 1.c4, and the last time a 2700+ player in the database even played such a response to 1.c4 was in 2015. With sev results like those, I can see why :-p.

Source: https://chesstempo.com/game-database.html , 2700+ vs. 2700+

• #12

I reccomend this website-365chess.com.I dont have Chessbase which is the best software for opening preparation. But i would say that i use this site exclusively for my opening preparation

• #13
Chess_com_syndrome wrote:

I reccomend this website-365chess.com.I dont have Chessbase which is the best software for opening preparation. But i would say that i use this site exclusively for my opening preparation"

I used to use it a lot myself. Like chesstempo.com, they have a master's database of games, and like chesstempo.com, they include the last year a master played a certain opening. However, unlike chesstempo.com, there is no way to separate the results from masters with different ratings. This can make quite a big difference when looking at how well white does after black plays 1...b6 to white's 1.c4, to name a salient example.

• #14

I'm not really high-rated and since I'd like to avoid some of the more strategic and subtle stuff I just play 1...e5 and 2...Nf6 just hoping to get the game into classic structures as soon as possible.

So I play 1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Nc3 c6 and 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.g3 Bb4.

If they try to go into positions other than this then I switch to a ...g6 setup and go into a reversed closed sicilian.

• #15

Nf6 KIDish position

• #16

Beating Unusual Openings by Richard Palliser (2006)
https://web.archive.org/web/20140627072813/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen107.pdf
Grandmaster Repertoire 19 - Beating Minor Openings by Victor Mikhalevski
http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/ebooks/BeatingMinorOpenings-excerpt.pdf
http://www.davidsmerdon.com/?p=1888

• #17

I've taken to playing e5 and then trying to get a reversed Botvinnik English formation with pawns at e5, d6 and c5, knights on c6 and e7 and a fianchettoed KB. Seems to work, and may be annoying for White to be faced with a similar position to the one s/he is aiming for. No doubt there are good ways to handle this if you know the theory.

• #18

Not being incredibly booked up in the very complex and difficult symmetrical game after ....c5, I simply play 1. ....e5 otb and treat it as a reversed Sicilian. In a three day game on here a years or so ago I played 1 ...c5 but I considered it a must-win game and I used an Watson's excellent Symmetrical English openings book, which isn't allowed in otb chess!

• #19

Grandmaster Repertoire 19 - Beating Minor Openings by Victor Mikhalevski>>>

hahahaha, 1. c4 isn't exactly a minor opening and any GM who thinks it is, is an idiot. 1. c4 is, some think, the strongest opening for white.

• #20

1...nf6, or 1...c5, depending on my mood.

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